The Lake Powell Challenge has become the latest event to fall victim to the Covid-19 pandemic. The poker run, typically held in September, joins a growing number of speedboating events that have pushed back their dates to 2021, including the Texas Outlaw Challenge, 1,000 Islands Poker Run and Big Cat Poker Run.

This year was supposed to mark the 12th running of the the Challenge, which gives participants the opportunity to play poker while helping to raise money for local charities—most notably, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The event is headquartered at Antelope Point Marina in Page, AZ, and comprises stops across both Arizona and Utah. The action plays out against some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, with views of stunning cliffs, charming bays and Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world.

In a heartfelt letter to participants and sponsors, the event’s organizers spoke of the harrowing decision to pull the plug on the 2020 Challenge:

“Due to the circumstances presented at this time, Antelope Point Marina is devastated to announce the cancelation of Lake Powell Challenge 2020. For the first time in 12 years, this event will not take place. We could not be more thankful for your support. This decision was a difficult one to make and we are working through the ramifications of this situation. With the health and safety of our community, sponsors and participants in mind, Antelope Point Marina remains closed. Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation.”

The letter was signed by Special Projects Manager Cory A. Moyes and Special Events Coordinator Amber McDaniel, who added that those who have already paid to participate and have not already made refund or transfer arrangements may contact McDaniel at (928) 640-2859.

Despite these events, McDaniel told Speedboat that Antelope Point Marina is currently working to reopen its facilities, and encourages its sponsors and participants to visit Lake Powell in spite of the event’s cancellation. The move was necessary, she says, in order “to maintain the integrity of this charity event, and we don’t want to lose that with our participants. That’s why we made this decision.”

For the most recent updates, please visit the Antelope Point Marina website by clicking here.

The 12th annual Lake Powell Challenge is scheduled for Sept. 16-19, 2021; registration and sponsorship opportunities will be available soon.